Published by Atria Books, Unbound on May 5, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
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A jaded Chicago reporter in her twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius in this rich and deeply satisfying contemporary romance by the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing.
Kate Corbin has lost her spark. A year ago, she had a handsome boyfriend and a budding career as a reporter at a popular Chicago newspaper. But after the woman who raised her passed away, leaving her lost and alone, she fell into a rut—and never got out. Now she’s stuck writing fluff pieces about lipstick and wine, and feeling trapped in a relationship that’s going nowhere.
Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, Kate’s boss and mentor gives her the opportunity to jump-start her career. The assignment: spend a week interviewing R. J. Lawson, a famously reclusive tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as the owner of a well-respected Napa Valley winery.
Kate jumps at the chance, but the trip begins in disaster, both personally and professionally. After alienating R.J., her only saving grace is Jamie, a charming vineyard hand who shows her the beauty of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. It doesn’t take long for Kate and Jamie to fall hard, and for Kate to rethink her life in the city. But the week ends with a heartbreaking journey back to Chicago that sends Kate reeling, wondering what went wrong in those four perfect days.
Nowhere But Here scared me. It scared me because I LOVED Renee Carlino’s writing so much up this point that I was afraid and a bit excited, to read it. I was scared that this particular book wouldn’t live up the hype of Sweet Thing and Sweet Little Thing. I find Renee’s writing to be very close to impeccable. She is more than capable of sweeping you off your feet and taking you away into whatever world she’s dreamed up. Nowhere But Here is no exception. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be anxious, and intrigued and you’ll yearn for a happy ending. All I could think while reading was that it felt like a sexier, hot, Danielle Steele novel. This is a HUGE compliment as I LOVED Danielle Steele back in the day!
I want to get quickly out of the way some of why I felt anxious reading this book. Although the story is awesome, the characters are beautifully developed, the beginning felt awkward. I totally and completely understand why things were “rushed.” It had to be because of the timeline. However, that made interactions between Kate and Jamie feel forced. At least for me. There were times where I didn’t understand how strangers acted like lovers before they were actually lovers.
Around halfway in everything changes. Not only for me but for the story itself. I was suddenly rooted in a deeply moving love story. I couldn’t be distracted, I didn’t want to budge from my spot till I was finished. This is what I truly love about Renee’s writing. She engages the reader on the most basic of levels, your heart. She grabs hold of your heart and squeezes and squeezes until you feel every nuance of the story. Nowhere But Here leaves your heart so full that it feels like it will burst.
I wondered what hurt more: the kind of loneliness you feel when no one is around, or the kind of loneliness you feel when the person who is supposed to love you doesn’t care at all, not even enough to fight with you, let alone fight for you.
Have you ever been lonely? Truly lonely? Not the lonely that comes from not having people around you, the lonely that comes from within yourself. When it hits you that you’re so afraid of trying that you choose to be alone so you don’t have to feel. Have you ever felt the kind of lonely that comes from doing what’s expected and not really living the way you want? The kind of lonely that makes you miserable at work, when all you can think about is doing something else, anything else. Sometimes it’s not until people are gone that we realize the impact they had on our lives. And sometimes it takes losing them to realize we never really were alone. Kate and Jamie are the those examples of lonely. Jamie experienced loss which profoundly affected him. Kate experienced loss too and she allowed it to suck her under. She hides within herself so deep that even she doesn’t know how to get back to the surface. Jamie however, unbeknownst to Kate, begins to help her heal.
Love is a thing that you can’t take out of you. Once it’s there, it doesn’t go away, no matter what. Love can morph into hate, and resentment, but it will always be there, buried under the bad feelings.
Love is such a beautiful yet sometimes painful emotion. Deep down we all want to experience love. We want to be loved. We want to be in love. We want love that burns with desire. Love that fuses our soul to one another. Once you fall in love it’s very difficult to fall out of it. Renee, is very good at writing characters that are broken, confused, flawed. Characters that often don’t recognize emotions like love until it hits them square in the face. I think that’s why I love her stories so much, because I too was one of those people. I can relate to all the insecurities that encompass falling in love and angst it sometimes requires before admitting it and then believing it. Thank goodness I have my very own Jamie, a man willing to wait, a man willing to fight until I was ready.
Whatever happens will be up to you, but I’ll be a different man if I can’t have you. I will never breath as deeply as I did when I was with you.
Nowhere But Here turned out to be an absolutely beautiful love story about two flawed characters looking for someone to take away the loneliness.
*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*